UDAN Scheme: Modi government’s ambitious scheme Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik i.e. RCS – Udan (Regional Connectivity Scheme – The number of passengers traveling by air under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN) has declined, the Parliament Standing Committee has expressed concern about.
The number of air passengers decreased
The parliamentary committee said that the number of passengers traveling by air under the regional connectivity in the flight scheme was 33 lakhs in 2021-22, which has reduced to only 20 lakhs in the financial year 2022-23 till January 31, 2023. The committee has asked the Ministry of Civil Aviation the reasons for the decline in the number of passengers traveling under the UDAN scheme. The committee has also asked the ministry to give a plan to increase the number of passengers under the scheme to 3 million in 2023-24.
The committee said in its report that the number of passengers traveling under the Regional Passenger Scheme in 2017-18 was 3 lakh, which increased to 12 lakh in 2018-19. In 2019-20, 31 lakh people took advantage of the scheme. In 2020-21, the number of passengers decreased to 15 lakhs. But in 2021-22 the number again increased to 33 lakhs. But in 2022-23, there is a decline in the number and only 20 lakhs have remained.
54% of the fund could be utilized in 2022-23
Budget should be used in a better way
The parliamentary committee said that a provision of Rs 1244.07 crore has been made for the scheme in 2023-24. The committee has asked the ministry to prepare a plan for better implementation of the scheme in a better way while advising it to fully spend the budget allocated for the scheme. The committee said that more budget allocation for RCS will create permanent asset for the country and GDP will also increase.
The scheme was launched by PM Modi in 2017
Actually, on 27 April 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first flight between Delhi-Shimla under the Regional Connectivity Scheme. The Prime Minister had said that he wants that even those who wear slippers in the country should be able to travel by air. Under the RCS-UDAN scheme, the government provides subsidy for air travel to the passengers flying under this scheme so that they can travel by air cheaply. Subsidy is given under VGF and service tax is exempted. Currently this scheme is applicable for 10 years.
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